Monday, 19 November, 2018

More dirt on President Trump? Cohen's lawyer suggests so

Democrats steer clear of Trump impeachment talk despite Michael Cohen guilty plea Democrats steer clear of Trump impeachment talk despite Michael Cohen guilty plea
Pablo Mccormick | 24 August, 2018, 22:52

Trump was not mentioned by name in United States District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday but Cohen told a judge the payments to the two women were "at the direction of the candidate, ' and 'for the principal goal of influencing the election" for president in 2016.

President Donald Trump suggested that people should no longer be able to cooperate with authorities in exchange for reduced sentences in light of his former lawyer Michael Cohen's guilty plea earlier this week.

Cohen, who once said that he would take a bullet for Trump, has now flipped and claims that Trump directed him to "commit a crime" by ordering the payment.

"I will tell you what, if I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash.

I've seen it many times, I've had many friends involved in this stuff-it's called flipping and it nearly ought to be illegal".

In the Fox interview, an at times rambling Trump stewed over the question of his removal from office: "I don't know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job".

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"At this juncture, I can only say that he was present during a discussion with Jr. and dad, and beyond that, his testimony to the Senate Intelligence and House Intelligence Committees was accurate", Davis said.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts Tuesday in a surprise hearing in NY that happened within an hour of a jury dropping a guilty verdict on eight counts in the trial against Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

In the interview, Trump argued, incorrectly, that the hush-money payouts weren't "even a campaign violation" because he subsequently reimbursed Cohen for the payments personally instead of with campaign funds.

Cohen has meanwhile pleaded guilty to two counts of violating campaign finance laws, along with six counts of fraud - identifying Trump as his co-conspirator when it came to the hush payments.

Trump's national security adviser was pressed by a reporter during a news conference Thursday in Geneva about whether he was concerned that Trump posed a security risk.

And Manafort faces a second trial in Washington D.C. on September 17 on separate charges that include conspiracy, money laundering, failing to register as a foreign lobbyist and making false and misleading statements to federal agents.

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Trump praised Manafort as "a fearless man!" raising speculation the former campaign operative could become the recipient of a pardon as he argues the prosecution was an overreach by the Justice Department. John Katkopushed back against Trump's assertion that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is a "witch hunt".

But others in the party indicated indifference to Cohen's guilty plea and Manafort's conviction.

The president made the claims during a wide-ranging interview with FOX & Friends, where he discussed Democrats potentially pursuing impeachment if they take control of Congress, pondered about pardoning Paul Manafort, and also gave himself a glowing grade for his time in office so far, saying it should be a defense against impeachment.

But because he's president, that's incredibly unlikely to happen, legal experts say.

The Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel guidelines stipulate that a sitting president can not be indicted, and Trump's attorneys have highlighted this on a number of occassions.

Former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer stressed that the revelations may be sordid but do not meet the constitutional bar of "high crimes and misdemeanors".

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Trump has denied the affairs but his lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he knew about the $130,000 payment to Daniels.

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